Canadian country singer Stompin' Tom Connors dies

Thu Mar 7, 2013 3:58pm EST

Canadian singing legend Stompin' Tom Connors sings ''The Hockey Song'' before the start of the NHL game between the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Ottawa Senators in Toronto in this October 5, 2005 file photo. Connors died March 6, 2013, aged 77. REUTERS/Mike Cassese/Files

Canadian singing legend Stompin' Tom Connors sings ''The Hockey Song'' before the start of the NHL game between the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Ottawa Senators in Toronto in this October 5, 2005 file photo. Connors died March 6, 2013, aged 77.

Credit: Reuters/Mike Cassese/Files

Photo

Miami swimwear

Backstage at Mercedes Benz Swim Fashion Week in Miami.  Slideshow 

(Reuters) - Canadian country singer and folk icon Stompin' Tom Connors, known for songs "The Hockey Song," and "Sudbury Saturday Night" and his staunch patriotism, has died at age 77, his record company A-C-T Records said.

Connors died at his Ontario home on Wednesday of natural causes, A-C-T said in a statement posted on Connors' website.

Born Thomas Charles Connors in Saint John, New Brunswick, Connors was raised by foster parents on Prince Edward Island and hitchhiked across Canada as a teenager.

Connors, who penned hundreds of songs mostly about Canadian history and traditions, earned his nickname from his habit of stomping the heel of his boot while keeping a song's time.

He rose to prominence in the late 1960s, and released more than 20 albums, including "My Stompin' Grounds" and "Believe in Your Country", over a five-decade career.

Connors retired in 1979 and returned his six Juno Awards for Canadian music in protest over the Americanization of the national music industry. He returned to music in 1988.

Connors thanked his fans in a posthumous statement released by his family.

"It was a long hard bumpy road, but this great country kept me inspired with its beauty, character, and spirit, driving me to keep marching on and devoted to sing about its people and places that make Canada the greatest country in the world," Connors said in the statement posted on his website.

"I must now pass the torch, to all of you, to help keep the Maple Leaf flying high, and be the Patriot Canada needs now and in the future," he added.

He is survived by his wife and four children.

(Reporting by Eric Kelsey; Editing by Piya Sinha-Roy; and Peter Galloway)

FILED UNDER:
We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/
Comments (1)
momrobare wrote:
Stompin Tom Connors is a legend. Though many in the states don’t know who he was I do! And so I pay to him my ultimate compliment when I say that he was “Canada’s Johnny Cash”! So glad that a radio station out of St. Peterborough(sp) Canada had the strength to be received all the way into Buffalo NY because they carried a program with the host Eric McEwen(sp) who played Maritime Music and introduced this American to the likes of Stompin Tom, Gary Feldegard(sp), Rita McNeil, The Rankin Family and reintroduced me to the Sylvia and Ian Tyson of today!

Mar 07, 2013 11:07pm EST  --  Report as abuse
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.